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    • Five Hundred Million Dollar Negative Yield Bond Issued
      No, central banks aren’t screwing the economy up with their purchases: Veolia (Paris:VIE) has issued a 500 million 3-year EUR bond (maturity November 2020) with a negative yield of -0.026 %, which is a first for a BBB issuer. To be clear, central banks didn’t buy those bond, investors did. But central bank purchases of […]
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Pentagon Releases Findings on DADT

Today the Pentagon releaseda long-anticipated surveyregarding military service by gay men and lesbians. The study states, as predicted, that service by openly LGBT personnel would have little to no impact on long-term military cohesion and effectiveness.

The study took place over a period of 10 months, and is expected to have huge implications for the future of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”—the 17-year-old controversial law prohibiting military service by openly gay and lesbian citizens. Officials familiar with the results of the study—which was based on responses by about 115,000 service members and 44,200 military spouses—said that a clear majority of respondents indicated opposition to the law, with 70% predicting that lifting the ban would have positive, mixed, or no effect on their units. Furthermore, about 70% of respondents reported working with someone whom they believed to be gay or lesbian, and 92% of these reported having a neutral or positive experience in their unit’s ability to work together. The survey authors write that “both the survey results and our own engagement of the force convinced us that when service members had the actual experience of serving with someone they believe to be gay, in general unit performance was not affected negatively by this added dimension.” Over 60% of respondents said repeal would have a positive or no effect on their personal morale, and 67% believed there would be a positive or no effect on their personal readiness.

Those sneaky gays! Always proving to us that they are human beings and more than their sexuality! It makes it so much harder for us to discriminate against them!

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Elena Kagan and Laura Bush: When Pigs Really Fly

Kudos to the President for nominating another lady to the supreme court. Well done. But something’s not right here. What is it…? Oh, yeah.

I’m really, really glad Obama chose a woman. I really, really wish she were more liberal. I suspect she’ll be okay on Roe and other “social issues,” but her attitude to executive power is alarming.

Also, rumors abound that Kagan is gay. Let’s just pretend for a second that we care….

Glad that’s over.

As for social issues, the President has really given us a treat! He picked someone that is kind of pro-choice! OMG! But wait…

As a White House adviser in 1997, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan urged then-President Bill Clinton to support a ban on late-term abortions, a political compromise that put the administration at odds with abortion rights groups.

Documents reviewed Monday by The Associated Press show Kagan encouraging Clinton to support a bill that would have banned all abortions of viable fetuses except when the physical health of the mother was at risk. The documents from Clinton’s presidential library are among the first to surface in which Kagan weighs in the thorny issue of abortion.

The abortion proposal was a compromise by Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle. Clinton supported it, but the proposal failed and Clinton vetoed a stricter Republican ban.

In a May 13, 1997, memo from the White House domestic policy office, Kagan and her boss, Bruce Reed, told Clinton that abortion rights groups opposed Daschle’s compromise. But they urged the president to support it, saying he otherwise risked seeing a Republican-led Congress override his veto on the stricter bill.

Oh. But still! Since Kagan is probably a lezbo, she must support gay marriage, right? Wrong.

The meme has taken hold that Kagan is a stealth candidate who has avoided taking positions on important constitutional or other issues throughout her career.

But on one issue of critical importance to the left — the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Kagan has staked out a very clear and unequivocal position: There is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

In the course of her nomination for Solicitor General, Kagan filled out questionnaires on a variety of issues. While she bobbed and weaved on many issues, with standard invocations of the need to follow precedent and enforce presumptively valid statutes, on the issue of same-sex marriage Kagan was unequivocal.

Kagan is a winner in other ways, too:

“Like Harriet Miers, she doesn’t have a record to tell us how she would adjudicate from the bench. They led a rebellion against the executive branch and the same thing should happen here.”

“I object to appointment somebody that has no track record. Corporate power is a big one because of the Citizens United decision, and also Miranda. There are a lot of things where it would be helpful to be able to examine past writings.”

“If I was in the Senate, I would vote no, because like Harriet Miers she doesn’t have the judicial experience.”

“Accepting Kagan just because people like Obama is wrong. That’s appropriate for American Idol, not the Supreme Court. Nobody knows what she stands for but him. It’s just a cult of personality with Obama. This is the Supreme Court.”

There is something fundamentally wrong about this. Everyone is used to Obama constantly rejecting his base. They are like devoted mistresses who constantly tell themselves that their boyfriends will leave their wives–he is just making a compromise right now; it’s a secret game of eleven dimensional chest and during the election time he will come crawling back. But really, why do liberals have to compromise in the first place?

The selection of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be the nation’s 112th justice extends a quarter-century pattern in which Republican presidents generally install strong conservatives on the Supreme Court while Democratic presidents pick candidates who often disappoint their liberal base.

[…]

Along the way, conservatives have largely succeeded in framing the debate, putting liberals on the defensive. Sonia Sotomayor echoed conservatives in her Supreme Court confirmation hearings last year by rejecting the idea of a “living” Constitution that evolves, and even President Obama recently said the court had gone too far in the past. While conservatives have played a powerful role in influencing Republican nominations, liberals have not been as potent in Democratic selections.

Well, I don’t know. Maybe the blogger boyz just need a reality check. For one thing, Obama is just not that into them.

For another, the notion that Obama is a “Democratic President” is laughable anyway. Democratic Presidents don’t pass Heritage Foundation Health Insurance Reforms and then claim it as the biggest victory of their Presidency. Just sayin.’

The Democratic Party is obviously in trouble, and that is no secret. But they can’t be any worse than Republicans, right? NOTHING is worse than a Republican. I mean, Elena Kagan might not be perfect on social issues, but at least she’s more liberal that Laura Bush!

On her media tour for her memoir, Spoken from the Heart, Laura Bush stopped by Larry King Live, where she opened up for the first time about her advocacy for marriage equality, as well as her belief that Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision regarding a woman’s right to an abortion, should be upheld.

We’re Winning This, at Least

BILLVictories should be taken when they come. With the passage of Proposition 8 and all the Drama with Miss California and Perez Hilton, the LGBT Community needed something good, and it came.

We all love the Big Dawg. Regency said it best in what is possibly one of the best posts ever written at the Confluence.

I lived in this country during the 1990s. I knew the Clintons. I grew up worshiping Bill Clinton, that Bubba from a place called Hope with an affinity for Big Macs and a little bit of “soul” in his soul.

[…]

Millions of new jobs created throughout this country. Millions raised from poverty to hallowed middle-class status. Even with the battles he couldn’t win—like the Defense of Marriage Act, which he abhorred but that prevented the passage of a Federal Gay-Marriage Ban; like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell that as best it could prevented an outright ban of gays and lesbians in the military—things were a little better, positive steps in positive directions had been taken. In that decade, it was good to be alive in America. And it was my party that had made it so.

[…]

I remember the man who cried as those around him struggled and deigned to share their struggles with him. I remember the President who apologized for the Tuskegee Experiment and asked that those still standing in its wake found it in their battered hearts to forgive a nation whose morality once stood so terribly bigoted. I remember the man who helped to re-enact the March on Selma because it meant so much to him. I remember a President who walked into Office on day one ready to lead, only to be stabbed in the back by the very people that brought him—but he soldiered on. That was the Way I was a part of, the Way that “embraces ‘tolerant traditionalism,’ honoring traditional moral and family values while resisting attempts to impose them on others.” There was no battle too small to undertake, no cause unworthy of effort or tears, nobody left behind. Anybody who “worked hard and played by the rules” got ahead, because no way was William Jefferson Clinton going to leave them in the dust.

Modo could never say as much. Recently, Bill came out in favor of Single Payer Health Care. In case you’re wondering why he didn’t go for it while he was President, he explained:

Mr. Clinton said that as he looked at the matter in 1993 he believed that he had two options for providing universal coverage: either a tax increase or an employer mandate. Since he had already expended a lot of political capital on a deficit-reduction plan that included tax increases as well as spending cuts, he said he had to rely on the employer mandate.

“If you had an employer mandate, then you could leave the small businesses out or come up with enough revenues to subsidize the smaller employers — and since we couldn’t raise taxes, having an employer mandate guaranteed that the National Federation of Independent Businesses would join with the insurance companies,” he said. “Now they don’t have to have an employer mandate, because they can offer buy-ins. I hope they won’t give up on this public option.”

Oh, Bill! In a similar vein, the Big Dawg has also come out in favor of same sex marriage.

He is now the most high profile politician to do so, beating out even Dick Cheney in his endorsement of gay matrimony. And since Bill and Hillary agree on most things politically, I predict that she will also come out in favor of Same Sex Marriage shortly.

In May of this year, Clinton told a crowd at Toronto’s Convention Centre that his position on same-sex marriage was “evolving.”Apparently, Clinton’s thinking has now further evolved. Asked if he would commit his support for same-sex marriage, Clinton responded, “I’m basically in support.”

This spring, same-sex marriage was legalized in Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire. In his most recent remarks on the subject, Clinton said, “I think all these states that do it should do it.” The former president, however, added that he does not believe that same-sex marriage is “a federal question.”

Asked if he personally supported same-sex marriage, Clinton replied, “Yeah.” “I personally support people doing what they want to do,” Clinton said. “I think it’s wrong for someone to stop someone else from doing that [same-sex marriage].”

We all ready know what the Obots will scream. We have heard the song and dance so many times before we could recite it in our sleep. Bill passed DOMA! Bill passed DADT! The Clintons are Racist and EEEEEEEVVVVVIL!

Crimony. Tell them Bill.

Talking about Melissa Etheridge’s comment about the Clintons “throwing the gay community under a bus” when introducing DOMA, Bill Clinton said:

“I think it’s a slight rewriting of history that, let me just say, let me remind you, one of the raids that the Republican Party used to get its base out, I think it was in 2004, to have all these amendments on the ballot, right, to change the constitution of these states to ban gay marriage.

“There was at the time, a serious effort to argue that the congress ought to present to the states a constitutional amendment, a national constitutional amendment, on gay marriage. So the idea behind the defense of marriage act was not to ban gay marriage but simply to say that just because Massachusetts recognized gay marriage, which Hillary and I at the time defended their right to do, that marriage had always been a matter of state law and religious practice.

“The defense of marriage act did nothing to change that, all it said was that [the state of] Idaho did not have to recognize a marriage sanctified in Massachusetts, and that seemed to be a reasonable compromise in the environment of the time, and its a slight rewriting of history for Melissa, whom I very much respect, to imply that somehow this was anti-gay when I had more openly gay people in my administration and did more for gay rights and tried to provide an opportunity for gays to serve in the military and did provide an opportunity for gays to serve in civilian positions involving national security that they had been previously been denied to serving in. That’s a little bit of rewriting of history there.”

In the Nineties, public support for Gay Marriage, Equality of Benefits, and the right for Gays to serve openly in the Military wasn’t very strong. In fact, Gay rights were still something of a taboo back then. When Bill was President, he dealt with a foaming Republican Congress, Democrats on the Hill who loathed him, an overly hostile Press Corps, and a Right Wing Conspiracy Independent Counsel sniffing for his impeachment every time he or Hillary so much as farted. Because of Ross Perot’s Candidacy, he wasn’t elected with a majority, and he defeated an extremely popular incumbent. He didn’t have much Political Capitol at all, but he still tried to push as much liberal legislation through Congress as he possibly could before the midterm elections, when the party in power almost always loses seats. Even Dubya, when he was first elected President, passed whatever legislation he wanted, despite not being elected by a majority (and in fact, stealing the election) because his party was in power.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, has a fawning Press Corps and solid, filibuster proof majorities in the House and the Senate at his disposal. He is following an extremely unpopular administration into the White House and he was elected with 53% of the vote. At the moment he doesn’t seem to have much opposition for reelection in 2012. He should be the liberal God Obots claim him to be, but sadly, he is wiping his ass with the Constitution, continuing the War in Iraq, passing Stimulus Bills that stimulate nothing, Bailing out Banks with taxpayer money and proposing lousy Healthcare Reform.

On Gay rights and everything else, he has no viable excused. Polls show that a majority of Americans favor Gays serving openly in the Military and Gay Marriage. Similarly, with the roll out of several high Profile endorsements of Same Sex Marriage, it is apparent that Americans have evolved with their favorite President on the issue of Gay Rights. Not only should Obama be stronger for the LGBT Community, he should be shoving Single Payer Healthcare, which a majority of Americans also support, up Congress’s Bum-ol-ey and prosecuting Bush Administration Officials, but he obviously isn’t.

Obama is just a self absorbed, arrogant, immature, narcissistic coward. I hate to call him names, but there it is folks.

But regardless of what TOTUS does, we do have this victory of changing attitudes about LGBT rights in America. Americans clearly favor treating our Gay brothers and sisters with humanity and respect. And that is a victory worth celebrating, because it is a step in the right direction, and it makes equality for Gays, Lesbians, Bis and Trannies that much more attainable.

Cross posted at Age of Aquairius

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We Told You So!

straitjacket_new1

Another day, another broken promise:

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a challenge to the Pentagon policy forbidding gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, granting a request by the Obama administration.

[…]

In court papers, the administration said the appeals court ruled correctly in this case when it found that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is “rationally related to the government’s legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion.”

During last year’s campaign, President Barack Obama indicated he supported the eventual repeal of the policy, but he has made no specific move to do so since taking office in January. Meanwhile, the White House has said it won’t stop gays and lesbians from being dismissed from the military.

(emphasis added)

Well it’s good to know our red-blooded warriors won’t have to worry about catching teh gay from a toilet seat while they are keeping the world safe for democracy.

(Cue the Obots Failbots explaining that this is more “11-dimensional chess”)

Here’s a tip from Arthur Silber:

Don’t try to keep a list of all of Obama’s broken “promises.” Instead, keep a list of the promises you think he made that he’s kept. In this manner, your work will be brief and undemanding.

At the moment, I can’t think of a single issue of importance that would appear on a list of promises Obama wanted us to believe he was making, and that he has kept. Not even one.

Nonetheless, he has kept one commitment, the overriding one that was obvious from the beginning but that he notably restrained himself from offering explicitly: that he would faithfully serve the interests of the ruling class, that he would increase their already massive power and wealth still more, and that he would entrench them and their particular interests so that they would become impervious to all serious challenge.

It’s gonna be a long four years.

We told you so

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Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

Morning Read

The “homosexual agenda” on the march
After MA, CT, IA, VT, ME too has decided to get into the “marriage-ruining” business. NH is waiting around the corner.
Maine Governor Signs Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Gov. John Baldacci of Maine signed a same-sex marriage bill on Wednesday minutes after the Legislature sent it to his desk, saying he had reversed his position because gay couples were entitled to the state Constitution’s equal rights protections.

Isn’t it about time Obama undertakes something about this pervasive homosexual agenda? So far he’s been silent on DADT, hasn’t said a word about the proliferation of gay marriages, and has kept mum while some are talking about a gay Justice on the SCOTUS. At least we know Hillary would have shot gays in the face.
With Gay Issues in View, Obama Is Pressed to Engage

Dems to Specter: Watch out!
I count myself amount those who were happy Arlen Specter left the Republican Party to join to Dems, not for the sake of Specter himself but simply because it’s a zero-sum game. He has to be reminded that Dems have him by the nuts sack.
Meltdown: Specter stands alone

Since declaring himself a Democrat last Tuesday, Specter has defied Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the White House on virtually everything that’s come down the pike: the budget, mortgage reform, the Al Franken-Norm Coleman race, even President Barack Obama’s appointment of Dawn Johnsen to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.
All while quibbling over whether he said he’d be a “loyal Democrat” — and insisting that he had an “entitlement” to transfer his Senate seniority from one side of the aisle to the other.

Specter Isn’t Sitting Too Pretty These Days

What to do with “Torturegate” architects?
Bush attorneys who wrote terror memo face backlash

Iraq, the good and the bad

The Good:
Blackwater era ending in Iraq

The Bad:
Ambush by an Ally Chills Trust in Iraqi Units

When the gunfire broke out, Capt. Sean K. Keneally scrambled over to Master Sgt. Anthony Davis, who was lying flat on his back, and dragged him to a nearby building.
It was too late. Sergeant Davis, a member of a small team of American military advisers embedded with an Iraqi Army battalion in this remote town, was dead.

Af-Pak
Civilian Deaths Imperil Support for Afghan War

Clinton expresses ‘deep regret’ over deadly US airstrike in Afghanistan

Pakistan Strife Fills a Hospital With Refugees

Obama applauds Afghan and Pakistan cooperation

Entertainment recommendation for SoS Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton, Watch These Movies!

High Noon, Godfather II, Grand Illusion, and 22 other indispensable movies for understanding war and diplomacy.

Staving off a Depression
Budget Proposes Cuts in 121 Programs

President Barack Obama’s detailed 2010 budget plan, due out Thursday, will propose to eliminate or consolidate 121 domestic and defense programs to save $17 billion, administration officials said Wednesday.

After being stress-tested, BofA needs another $34,000,000,000, Wells Fargo $15,000,000,000 and Citi $5,000,000,000
Fed’s Bank Results ‘Reassuring,’ Show No Insolvency

Banks Need at Least $65 Billion in Capital

American stocks surge after leaked results of banking stress tests bring relief to investors

Timmy explains the methodology. (Wasn’t it some giant Monte Carlo simulation?)
How We Tested the Big Banks (Timothy Geithner)

U.S., Europe Are Ocean Apart on Human Toll of Joblessness

Rupert wants to charge the Internets
News Corp will charge for newspaper websites, says Rupert Murdoch

He wasn’t only a big time crook
The Bernard Madoff I knew: former secretary tells of sexist, sex-mad swindler

What Does “Qualified” Mean?
People opposed to identity politics on the SCOTUS like to propagate the trope about the “most qualified” person for the job. Let’s forget the fact that a SC Justice doesn’t have to be a lawyer, there are a gazillion people with a law degree in the US. Who’s the most “qualified” for any single job among them? “The SCOTUS is not the place for identity politics.”Really? Why not? It’s all about the best fit.
Identity Politics Not New to Supreme Court

W.E.B. Du Bois was quick to endorse the appointment of Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court. “As a Jew,” Du Bois said, quoting Isaiah, Brandeis knows the experience of “being despised and rejected of men.”

Prepare to be awed by Odd Day


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If Iceland can accept a gay woman as head of state, why does that seem so unimaginable for the United States?

(Cross-posted at Founder’s Blog, 51 Percent and Heidi Li’s Potpourri.)

Time for another thought experiment (admittedly, one not far removed from recent and present realities). Imagine if the United States were facing an unprecedented financial-social crisis, the makings of which had been brewing for years and the solutions to which were far from obvious. Suppose the mood of the country favored genuine unity. Genuine unity, of the sort that Churchill asked of the British people as they faced years of grueling warfare against Nazi Germany; deep social cooperation to solve deep  problems, not just starry-eyed rhetoric penned by a twenty-seven year old.

Suppose that the U.S. had a well-respected political leader available, one with a history of successfully addressing problems of social welfare, the sort of problems that the economic crisis will generate and exacerbate and which will have to be addressed if the the social – and therefore, economic- fabric of the country are to be restitched.

To this point in our thought experiment it might seeem quite obvious that the U.S. would turn to this leader. But now, include these variables: this leader is 66 years old and looks and acts consistent with that age; this leader is a woman; this leader is openly gay and has listed her domestic partner on official websites since such websites have been in place; this leader is a highly ambitious politician, somebody who sought to develop and cultivate her own political following, although also has shown the ability and willingness to work with and across political dividing lines.

Johanna_sigurdardottir_icelandpm_226_ap

JOHANNA SIGURDARDOTTIR

Try to figure out which variable would most weigh against this person as the choice to lead the United States in time of such crisis.

Apparently, none of them are preventing Iceland from coalescing around Johanna Sigardardottir as the Iceland’s choice for its next Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe: The almost equal gender balance of AMs in the Welsh assembly has transformed how politics in Wales is conducted, according to a new report.